Cantona, Smith & Barmby Feature In Transfer Top 10

Last updated : 07 July 2005 By Kevin Markey
Ten moves that hurt. By JACOB STEINBERG

The Portugal international seemed to have no problem moving to Real Madrid from Barcelona, despite their rivalry being the hottest in football. His £37m transfer infuriated the Catalans who reserve a special hatred for their Madrid counterparts.When Figo returned to the Nou Camp in 2002, the incensed Barcelona supporters made their feelings known in a bizarre way- by throwing a pig’s head at their former idol. Even when Figo turns out for his country, he cannot escape. During Euro 2004, a fan invaded the pitch and threw a Barcelona flag in the winger’s face.

The Catholic player was ill-advised to join Rangers from Nantes in 1989. Not only was he a former Celtic player, but he chose to join Rangers over a reunion with The Bhoys. This was seen as the ultimate betrayal by Celtic supporters. The mutual hatred between the two clubs is caused by more than just football. Celtic are Catholic, Rangers are Protestant, so even the Rangers fans were made unhappy by Johnstone’s arrival.

The former England midfielder is the ultimate hate figure for West Ham fans. Ince was a highly sought after West Ham player in the late 80’s and Manchester United wanted to capture his signature. The Hammers were reluctant to sell but were given little option when Ince, still their player, was photographed wearing a Manchester United shirt. To add insult to injury Ince then refused to play for the team, instead preferring to stand still in the centre circle with his hands on his hips.

It was bad enough that the powerful defender moved from Tottenham to Arsenal in 2001. Worse was that Spurs did not receive a single penny from his move, as Campbell was a free agent at the time. Since moving to Arsenal, Campbell has won the FA Cup three times and the Premiership twice. And in a horrible turn of events for Spurs fans, Campbell’s most recent title triumph was clinched in their own back yard. Ouch!

In 2004, the Leeds debacle came to a head as they were relegated to the Championship. Throughout their survival campaign, fiery Smith had performed with admirable passion for their cause and the fans took him to their hearts. He even told them that he had no intention of leaving Elland Road if the club was relegated. They were empty words though - as soon as Leeds’ relegation was confirmed, Smith angered Yorkshire fans by making the short trip across the Pennines to arch-rivals Manchester United.

The talismanic French striker was an idol at Leeds as he helped the club to the old First Division title. But he showed that he had little concern for his adoring fans by making the same move as Alan Smith did in 2004. Leeds fans have never forgiven the controversial Cantona, who went on to help Manchester United to their first title success for 26 years.

A good run of form for the injury-ravaged Barmby in 2000 propelled him into the England reckoning for the approaching European Championship. After a few years in the wilderness, Everton manager Walter Smith had revived the midfielder’s career. Barmby was hot property in the summer and a known admirer of the free-scoring midfielder was Gerard Houllier, then the Liverpool manager. The player crossed Stanley Park and moved to Anfield. But so strong was the animosity towards Barmby, he was forced to pull out of two matches at Goodison Park.

There is certainly history where moves from Tottenham to Arsenal are concerned. Sol Campbell was not the first player to make the short journey across North London. In 1977, legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings caused a surprise by signing for Arsenal even though he had played for Spurs for more than a decade. He went on to help Arsenal to three successive FA Cup Finals.

In a few weeks time, Cole may be ready to move up the rankings. But for the time being, he remains an Arsenal player despite the recent furore surrounding his illegal meeting with Chelsea’s Peter Kenyon and Jose Mourinho. Cole is in a contract dispute with Arsenal and feels that he has been badly treated by the club. He was certainly badly advised by his agent, Jonathan Barnett, and all parties were found guilty by the FA. Watch this space.

The wheeler-deeler was Portsmouth’s hero after he guided them first to promotion and then to Premiership safety. But by November 2004, his relationship with chairman Milan Mandaric had soured after the appointment of Velimir Zajec as a director of football. Redknapp was quick to resign. Down the road at fierce enemies Southampton, the managerial position was vacant and Redkanpp took over. But Pompey fans had the last laugh when their side lost at West Brom on the last day of the season to send Southampton down.